How to Set Up a Media Server

By Jackson Lewis

A media server is a computer-like device that is used to store and distribute digital media. Media servers can come in various forms from portable hard drives to dedicated computers running specialized software for the distribution of music, movies, photographs and other digital media to commercial web servers that host media for websites. At home, media servers play a more important role in the storage of digital media for the consumer whereas commercial media servers are used for paid services for use of digital goods. MediaPortal is one example of an open source media center software.

Things You'll Need

  • Administrator access to your computer

Step 1

Initiate the download of the MediaPortal Media Server software. If Windows Media Player 11 is not installed on your computer, the install software will prompt you to download the application from Microsoft before continuing.

Step 2

After the download of the Media Portal application is complete, launch the Media Portal configuration application, "MediaPortal.DeployTool.exe." The configuration tool will ask you if you desire to use the media server to watch television. If you do, select the radio button that states "Yes, I will use MediaPortal to watch TV." and select the "Next" menu button to proceed to the next configuration step.

Step 3

If you selected yes for using MediaPortal for watching television, the next questions ask you if the server will be used to watch High Definition (HD) content. If this is the case for your Media Server, select the radio button that states: "Yes, I will use MediaPortal to watch HD content." If you answer yes to the HD TV question, the configuration guide will then proceed to download a HD TV computer driver for use on the media server.

Step 4

On the next screen you are given the option of choosing "Perform a one click Installation" or to "Perform an Advanced Installation." For most home media server users, the "One-click" installation will install the remainder of the components required for completing installation of the Media Server. When choosing the "One-click" installation, the configuration manager will use MySql for the Media Server database engine and will setup the account with the default password set to "MediaPortal."

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a separate hard drive for your media storage if available for higher quality of service.